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Pitons / Pegs Advice

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Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby northcave » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:52 am

I have never used pegs or pitons but it seems like a good idea to get a couple as i am climbing harder routes and protection becomes a little more seldom.

Can anyone give me a nice concise guide? I.e. do they tend to be re-usable nowadays? How do you get the buggers out afterwards and i assume you're just whacking em in with the hammer on your axe?

Any advice on type, placing, removing etc appreciated :D

Tim
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby rhyang » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: insertion and removal -- there is a PDF online you can peruse. I've pounded a few for practice at a road cut and a couple more in a Sierra couloir, but the guy on SP who comes to my mind as being an authority on pins is Craig Peer, and a few more old timers on this thread from years ago -

common-pin-sizes-t18269.html

It is definitely true they cause damage to the rock -- the huge number of pin scars in Yosemite Valley are witness to this fact. They do get use in the alpine as a supplement to a regular rack in places where the rock is crappy to begin with, but in the Sierra mostly on ice climbs.
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby The Chief » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:34 pm

Check the local climbing ethics and first see if pin pounding is part of the game.

Bad juju to start pounding pins in an area that has established clean climbing standards.

PS: Just cuz your climbing stouter routes, don't necessarily mean ya gotta start pounding in pins. The are lots of different companies out their that make some great small size cams and stoppers that are far more aesthetic and cleaner.

Here are some that you may think about and seriously consider before pounding in any pin that will permanently scar the rock....
TRANGO BALL NUTS
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WC ZERO's
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DMM BRASSIES
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:50 pm

Slight thread hijack...

In very obscure areas of Red Rock, NV, I've found pitons used as rappel anchors. Some folks tell me they will never rappel off pitons. But I talked to the guy who placed one, and he told me that he was sure it was really stable. That one piton has probably been used for more than 50 rappels (only about 70 feet). It doesn't seem to have moved.

Comments?
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby rpc » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:58 pm

MoapaPk wrote:Some folks tell me they will never rappel off pitons.

good - there will be much less traffic on some classic desert routes.
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby Blair » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:07 pm

good thread

I agree w Chief and first find out if the place you want to use them is cool with the piton game. If yes, then find another place where you can as said by borutb on the ground play with the iron.

knoback is right on about overdriving the pin-good info from him

that PDF is awesome, thanks for sharing that rob-never seen that before but its GOLD JERRY, GOLD!!!

Yes they are more damaging to the rock than passive modern gear, yes there are many people who think you should never use them, yes there are many places you shouldnt use them due to local ethics, but...

Sometimes you need them where nothing else works. Rare 'nowdays with all the advancements in gear; the voids of modern gear are getting smaller and smaller. Those ball nuts and tiny tcu's Chief showed are good examples-explore the options of whats out there in protection. Off-set cams, tricams, different sized nuts...it goes on

By the way, all that new modern stuff is WAY lighter to carry over iron and a instrument to pound
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby asmrz » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:25 pm

When you go up alpine big wall, with ice gear as well as rock gear, having couple of knifeblades or other thin, short pitons can be life saving. They can make very serious situations, much less so. They are not the kind of gear, you pound in on every pitch, far from it, but when they are needed, they are priceless. Anyone, who ever went up a big alpine wall would tell you, a few thin pitons have a place on the rack. If you ever think about the complete West Face of the Grand, Waddington South Face, or any big technical rock and ice wall, where conditions might prevent you from using standard pro, thin pins have their place.
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:45 pm

1000Pks wrote:Leading takes some skill and experience, if you have no one to tell you anything, probably best not to try it.


I've gone off this particular piton as the third person in a group; the leader had checked out the anchor beforehand, but I'm not sure what he did. Nothing metallic to tap it with except what was on my harness-- no piton hammer e.g. This crack is very tight, but gets snow freezing and thawing over it throughout the winter. Most piton placements in RR are in places that drain well.

Next "good" anchor is a pinyon at least 30 feet away.
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby rhyang » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:51 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
1000Pks wrote:Leading takes some skill and experience, if you have no one to tell you anything, probably best not to try it.


I've gone off this particular piton as the third person in a group; the leader had checked out the anchor beforehand, but I'm not sure what he did. Nothing metallic to tap it with except what was on my harness-- no piton hammer e.g. This crack is very tight, but gets snow freezing and thawing over it throughout the winter. Most piton placements in RR are in places that drain well.

Next "good" anchor is a pinyon at least 30 feet away.


In the context of trad climbing, "leading" is the act of placing protection (such as cams, nuts, even pitons) and "following" is the act of cleaning the pro, which in the case of a pin would require a hammer.

Most of us when we go trad climbing without pins don't bring a hammer, but many routes in the Sierra do have fixed pins. The usual test is to just try to wiggle it out and see if it moves .. obviously not much of a test :) Generally it's best not to trust old pins; try to back it up if you must clip it. As you mention, rust, age, and weather can all make a fixed pin untrustworthy -- both the pin and the rock around it.

But as with all rules, sometimes you do what you gotta do ...
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Re: Pitons / Pegs Advice

Postby kamil » Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:17 am

The folks above who said check the local ethics are right.
But on shite chossy rock and very thin flaring cracks sometimes nothing else goes.
When a peg doesn't go in any further but already looks solid, tie it off with a 'hero loop'.
That's right that a singing sound while hammering in usually means a peg is solid enough.
Pegs saved my arse a couple times, without them I'd be dead meat.
Sometimes there's no other way to abseil than off some pegs.
But then don't ab off a single peg unless you really have to. Use at least 2 if you can.

In popular areas and well established routes you're unlikely to need many pegs nowadays, but for alpine climbing it's better to have some just in case.
For obscure areas or if you're planning a first ascent, especially if you expect choss, don't even try without a handful or two of pegs of all sizes. Of course the rules of local ethics apply.
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